The Crowning of Mary is the final Glorious Mystery, to some it is the last one in the whole Rosary. This is another one of the mysteries that isn’t a story directly in the Bible. There is some glancing at the idea in the Bible notably in Revelation 12:1-7. This is the decade where Mary is crowned as Queen of Heaven. The fruit of this mystery is perseverance and increase in virtue, trust in Mary’s intercession. This is important and we tend to neglect it at time but Mary is one of the best individual to ask to intercede on our behalf with our prayers and concerns to our heavenly father. I hope that we all can turn to Mary at some time this month and pray a Rosary when we’ve got a free moment.
Yesterday, I tossed out the Shema while talking about Deus Caritas Est and just went on offering no real explanation or anything on it. The Shema is a prayer in the Jewish faith that is a daily declaration of faith. It is called the Shema because it begins Shema Yisrael or Hear, O Israel. This is prayed when “you lie down and rise up” so at night and in the morning. It is also prayed before going to bed, although that is usually just the first part. If you don’t understand Hebrew you can say it in your vernacular but make sure to carefully articulate and enunciate the words with no interruptions during the prayer. .
To pray you cover your eyes with your right hand for the first verse.
Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad
Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One
the next line is whispered (as it is not in the Torah at all)
Baruch sheim k’vod malchuto l’olam vaed.
Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever
Then it is time for the Vahavta which finished up the first section. This begins “You Shall love the Lord your God with all your heart.” It also reminds us to remember the commandments and to pass them on to our children. It moves on the V’haya im shamoa which comes from Deuteronomy 11. This section focuses on rewards and punishment for keeping the commandments. It also sort of repeats the first section but in the second person plural. Then we finally get to the third section the Vayomer which comes from Numbers 15. This section is about redemption.
Perhaps one day I will have a post about the different types of prayer in the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic faiths.
Augustissimae Virginis Mariae (Of the Most August Virgin Mary) is another encyclical from Pope Leo XIII about the Rosary, this one however talks about the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary.
This Encyclical start off as so many of the other one about the Rosary with a plea for more devotion to the Most August Virgin Mary, daily and for public and private benefit. It also highlights the role of Mary in the Incarnation and Redemption as well as pointing toward Christ’s example. As well as calling for individuals to pray the Rosary in October. Now this is the first half which we’ve read before and since.
Pope Leo continues turning the conversation to the gathering of humanity into pious associations. He specifically talks about the Confraternity of the Rosary. This is a group under the care and guidance of the Dominican order. The members of the Confraternity strive to pray the Rosary of weekly. It goes on to point to the power of the Rosary with the Battle of Lepanto and the victory of the Catholic fleet. This continues with a discussion of the prayers to God and prayers to the saints. All too often we pray to Mary and not God, for many individuals we turn to the saints and other rather than talking with God about what our troubles are yet as we pray to the saints and Mary we are asking through their prayers and merits our prayers may be efficacious. Then in turning to the communal prayer as that of the Angels. It end with a nice ending in which Leo asks that more people join in this Solidarity for the usefulness of our salvation and talks of the living Rosary.
So pick up a Rosary in this final week of the month of the Rosary and pray it.
Auspicia Quaedam is one of the Encyclicals from Pope Pius XII. The focus is public prayer for world peace as well as a solution of the problem of Palestine. It was written back in 1948, so World Peace was still something that people cared about not wanting to have another World War. Sure this was during the Cold War but according to the Pope a vast community of nations are turning towards the path of peace. Pius says that we need to first turn to God in prayer then as in previous Encyclicals turn to Mary asking for “mutual, fraternal and complete peace among all nations and the longed for harmony among all social classes.” Pius consecrated the world ti the Immaculate Heart of Mary following the lead of Leo XIII, who consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Pius points out some significant things that we should pray for
“Let there be an end to dissensions that redound to no one’s advantage.
Let there be a reconciliation of disputes that often sow the seeds of further misfortunes.
Let international relations, public and private, be fittingly strengthened.
Let religion, the foster mother of all virtues, enjoy the liberty to which she is entitled.
And let men set about their peaceful work of abundant production for the common welfare – with justice their guide and charity their motive.”
The second part of the Encyclical is a bit funny as we are still dealing with the “problem of Palestine” today we are still dealing with the problems but it’s a bit more complicated now and this was before Israel became a Nation so it the the Palestine Region that Pius is talk about. However, Pius is more concerned about the Holy Sites and that they become safe places.
So pray to Mary especially if you are a child and let us take up the prayers for World Peace as it seems like we are always on the brink of War nowadays.
Doctor of the Church Gregory of Narek has a wonderful prayer reflection on Good Friday.
Since today is a blessed day,
when morning came twice dividing day into
when the passing creatures of the earth
were transformed into a different and heavenly immutable beings,
when the high were laid low and the
humble raised up,
making this the most awesome day of Lent, Holy Friday,
when it is fitting for me to write
this prayer voicing joy mixed with terror, therefore
I think it appropriate to speak now of
the suffering you endured for me, God of all.
You stood, with my nature, before a tribunal of
your creatures, and did not speak, giver of speech.
You did not utter a word, creator of tongues.
You did not release your voice, shaker of the world.
You did not make a sound, trumpet of majesty.
You did not answer back with accounts of
your good deeds.
You did not silence them with their wrongs.
You did not deliver your betrayer to death.
You did not struggle when bound.
You did not squirm when whipped.
You did not fight back when spat upon.
You did not resist when beaten.
You did not take affront when mocked.
You did not frown when ridiculed.
They stripped you of your cloak, as from a weakling,
and dressed you like a condemned prisoner.
If my Lord had not been forced twice to drink vinegar and gall, he would not have been able to cleanse me of the accumulated bile of our forefathers.
He tasted heartbreak and did not waver.
They dragged him violently and brought him
They condemned him, humiliated him by flogging
before a motley crowd.
They knelt before him in ridicule
and put a crown of disdain upon his head.
They gave you no rest, Life-giver,
even forcing you to bear the instrument of your death.
You accepted with forbearance.
You received it with sweetness.
You bore it with patience.
You submitted to the wooden cross of grief,
like one condemned.
Like a lily of the field, you shouldered the
weapon of life,
so that your throne in my body might be protected
against the terrors of the night
turning the last judgment into a joyful banquet.
They led him out like a sacrificial lamb.
They hung him like Isaac’s ram whose horns were caught in the thicket.
They spread him on the table of the cross like a sacrifice.
They nailed him like a common criminal.
They persecuted you, like an outlaw, treating
you in your serenity, like a bandit,
you in your majesty, like a miserable wretch,
you who are adored by cherubim,
like a despised man,
you who are the definition of life, like one
deserving of a slaughter,
you, the author of the Gospels, like one
who blasphemed the Law,
you, the Lord and the fulfillment of the prophets,
like one who cut the Scriptures,
you, the radiance of glory and the image of
the mystery of the Father, beyond mortal
understanding, as if you are the adversary
of the will of him who bore you,
you who are blessed, like someone banished,
you who came to release the bonds of the Law,
like a heretic,
you, the consuming fire, like a
you who inspire awe in heaven and earth,
like one deserving punishment,
you, covered in unapproachable light, like
some earthly quarry
O, sweet Lord,
forbearing doer of good, merciful and compassionate,
Lord of all, who for the sake of infirm and unruly
servants like me submitted to everything willingly
according to your plan
together with your perfectly human body,
submitted even to the sleepy tomb of the sepulchre,
who lack nothing of divine perfection, being identical with
God who is beyond human understanding,
yet bore human indignity with patience beyond words,
you rose with your body, alive and of your own power,
In exalted light, with undiminished humanity
and flawless divinity.
You are blessed for your glory
praised for your compassion,
and always exalted for your mercy,
forever and ever.
This is the Italian equivalent of St. Patrick’s Day traditionally on March 19th. Traditionally you wear red and set up a St. Joseph altar. This is about all I know about the feast since Patrick gets the lions share of the press around this time of year. However Joseph is someone that we all tend to forget about, he isn’t in the Bible much and we hardly talk about him at all. Much of the focus goes to Jesus and Mary, so let us all remember Saint Joseph today. There are a bunch of prayers to St. Joseph, and nothing really has stuck like St. Patrick’s Breastplate. The first one is prayed as a novena to St. Joseph:
Oh, Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.
Oh, Saint Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most Loving of Fathers.
Oh, Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss his fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.
Saint Joseph, Patron of departed souls – pray for me. (Mention your intention) Amen.
This other one was given to us by Pope Leo XIII as a prayer to add to the end of the Rosary especially during the month of October.
To you, O blessed Joseph,
do we come in our tribulation,
and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse,
we confidently invoke your patronage also.
Through that charity which bound you
to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God
and through the paternal love
with which you embraced the Child Jesus,
we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance
which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood,
and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.
O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family,
defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ;
O most loving father, ward off from us
every contagion of error and corrupting influence;
O our most mighty protector, be kind to us
and from heaven assist us in our struggle
with the power of darkness.
As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril,
so now protect God’s Holy Church
from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity;
shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection,
so that, supported by your example and your aid,
we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness,
and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven.
This is a reminder to wear some green today as St. Patrick’s is that one day of the year where everyone celebrates their own Irishness. Some do this by drinking copious amounts of green beer, eating corned beef and cabbage or simply by wearing the green. How ever you want to celebrate the life of a Saint. Patrick according to legends taught the trinity using a shamrock, driving the snake from Ireland, and his walking stick grew into a tree. The Breastplate of St. Patrick is a prayer that is associated with him. This is the shorter modern version of the prayer that can fit on a prayer card
I arise today through
God’s strength to pilot me, God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to see before me,
God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to secure me –
against snares of devils,
against temptations and vices,
against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me
ill, afar and anear,
alone and in a crowd…
Christ, be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit,
Christ where I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Christ.
May your salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.
Last week I went through the first bit of Esther, this week we look at the plots.
After all this had happened the King, perhaps Xerxes, promoted Haman to be like the Prime Minister in the country and all the king’s servants were told by the king to bow to Haman. Mordecai did not. The other servants told Haman and when he noticed the slight was filled with fury. Haman learned that Mordecai was a Jew and sought to destroy all the Jews. Haman cast Pur (lots) and through this decided that all Jews will be destroyed on the 13th of Adar. Haman put this before the king and sort of approved it. Haman will pay 10 thousand talents of silver for this to be done. So on the 13th day of Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew calendar and wrote the edict to go out across the kingdom. The next chapter is a copy of the edict, that all Jews, with their wives and children, will be destroyed by the sword of their enemies, without pity or mercy, on the 14th of Adar, the last month of the year. Mordecai and the Jewish people rent their clothes, put on ashes and sackcloth, and wailed. Esther eventually learned about the edict through a very clumsy game of telephone through one of the King’s eunuchs, Hathach. Esther decides that Mordecai and the Jewish people should fast on her behalf, and neither eating or drinking for three days. Esther and my maids will also fast, then she will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.
We are then treated to two prayers one from Mordecai and the other from Esther. In Mordecai’s prayer we learn that he didn’t bow because he didn’t want to set a Man above God. He continues and asks the Lord to spare his people once again for their death was before their eyes. Esther also turned to the Lord, she took off her fancy garments and put on garments of distress and mourning, as well as covering herself with ashes and dung instead of perfume. In Esther’s prayer which is read the Thursday of the first week of Lent, we hear her asking for the Lord to put eloquent speech in her mouth, and turn the king’s heart to hate the man who is fighting against us, so that there may be an end of Haman and those who agree with him. “Save us from the hand of our enemies; turn our mourning into gladness and our sorrows into wholeness.” This is a powerful prayer and it is really a shame that we don’t hear from Esther on Sundays. On the third day the fast was over and Esther put on her royal robes and with two handmaidens entered the king wasn’t too happy about this to begin with and Esther fainted. The king dashed to Esther and told her that she would be die as it only applied to those people. As she tried to respond she collapsed and as she regained strength asked that the King and Haman join her for dinner. Now, Haman saw Mordecai by the King’s gate and Mordecai wasn’t cowering or kowtowing before Haman so he went home and was pissed. Haman gathered together his friend and wife and after talking about how wonderful he is but Haman wouldn’t be happy unless Mordecai bowed down before him. His wife and friends suggest why not hang Mordecai in the morning and then go to dinner with the king in the evening.
It is still sort of weird going between the extended verses and the regular ones as they are often time saying basically the same thing twice. This is an interesting story and it is a shame that we only hear like six verses from it on a Thursday in Lent.
This is a prayer written by Maximilian Kolbe, one of the Saints of World War II. Maximilian Kolbe was a Conventual Franciscan (Greyfriars) who volunteered to die in the place of a stranger at Auschwitz. He is a pretty cool saint and Pope John Paul II named him “The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century”. The prayer is a consecration to the Immaculata, Mary the Immaculate. I hope that we all can remember to turn to Mary of Mother when we are in need. The prayer comes in two forms the long one is:
Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.
If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: “She will crush your head,” and “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world.” Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin R. Give me strength against your enemies
Or there is a shorter version of the prayer for daily renewal of the consecration which is as follows:
Immaculata, Queen and Mother of the Church, I renew my consecration to you for this day and for always, so that you might use me for the coming of the Kingdom of Jesus in the whole world. To this end I offer you all my prayers, actions and sacrifices of this day.
I’ve got a soft spot for this prayer, growing up I went to school at Saint Michael’s from first to eight grade. I’m sure at some point we were taught the prayer and we’d pray it like when we would attend one of the daily Masses during like Lent not on a first Friday or something, It’s been a while since I was there. Anyways the prayer is one of the Leonine Prayers that Pope Leo XIII added after the celebration of a low mass, now this tradition was ended during Vatican II, however to this day we still have some individuals who pray some type of prayer after a low Mass. This prayer is as follows:
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle,
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
may God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God, cast into hell
Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Although no longer prescribe for after a low Mass, Pope John Paul II in one of his Regina Caeli addresses on 24 April 1994 where he said “‘Although this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.” So if you have some time learn this prayer it a pretty neat prayer and as the world seems to be on the brink it is always nice to have an archangel on our side.